As we get closer to Christmas, a lot of folks are going to be out and about doing their last-minute shopping. Unfortunately, identity thieves are going to be out in force trying to take advantage of their last chance during the holiday rush. Below are a few ways to help protect yourself from identity thieves while you’re shopping.
Only Carry What You Need
Keeping things where you can easily access them but other people can’t is an oldie but goodie. When you’re out shopping, just bring a credit card, your ID, and a debit card. Leave bulky wallets and purses at home.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Picking pockets is a lot easier during the hubbub of holiday shopping. Keep your belongings close to your person. If you use a purse that has a clasp to shut it, make sure it stays shut. If you keep your wallet or money in your pocket, make sure to be aware of whose hand is in there.
Beware of Skimming Devices
Skimming devices are gadgets attached to debit or credit card readers that will steal your electronic information and keep it for the identity thief. Criminals can use this info to make a replica of the credit or debit card and then use it for their illegal transactions. If the reader for a debit or credit card machine ever looks odd (especially out in the world, like at a gas station), don’t use your card out there. Pay inside instead.
When Shopping Online
Unfortunately, shopping online can expose you to potential identity theft the same way shopping in the real world does. If you plan to shop online, only use secured websites that you know and trust. Don’t let your web browser or store website store your credit card info, and use different passwords for different sites.
Unfortunately, ID theft has been an issue for a long time. But, by following a few simple safety tips, you can minimize your risk.